La Botiga, an integral programme of food guarantee, labour insertion and community participation.
City Council of El Prat de Llobregat, ABD (Asociación Bienestar y Desarrollo)
Supermarket that combines the distribution of food and other basic necessities to people assisted by the social services who cannot guarantee their right to food through the ordinary food distribution market, with the insertion of people with difficulties in accessing the labour market into the productive fabric of the municipality’s own food sector.
La Botiga operates as a supermarket open to the entire population, which also offers an adapted circuit for people referred by the basic social services of the municipality. It is organised on a self-service and/or assisted sales model, where food, hygiene, cleaning and other goods can be purchased. Users of social services can access by appointment, and before entering the space where they can buy food, they pass through a multipurpose room where group and community dynamics are carried out based on conversations between the people involved in the project. Moreover, with a circular logic, the people who make use of the space are involved in the management of the space, based on the principles of cooperativism and the Social and Solidarity Economy.
On the other hand, at La Botiga, the beneficiaries do not collect batches of food, but, through a system of points, choose the products they need themselves. These points, which are equivalent to the money to make the purchase, are assigned to them through the social services prescription sheet, depending on the situation of each person or family. In this way, La Botiga’s model seeks to overcome the welfare model in the field of food distribution.
La Botiga also uses the traditional supply channels of fruit and vegetables and other local products from the Baix Llobregat Agricultural Park and local businesses. This local economic fabric provides a product of solidarity, and at the same time strengthens the circuits that seek to reduce food waste through the reuse of the surplus generated, which also has an impact on improving the environmental health of the municipality.
In addition to the food guarantee service and projects to work on social skills or job skills, other activities and workshops are also carried out, for example to promote healthy eating habits or to encourage intercultural dialogue between users from different backgrounds.
El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona
Partners / Funders
The origin of the project dates back to 2012 when the Punt Solidari was born, a municipal project with the aim of minimising the impact of the economic crisis by coordinating all the city’s food support resources. Since then, for seven years, the Solidarity Point has helped 984 families, that is, a total of 2,931 people, distributing 360,000 kg of food. In addition, 5,420 hygiene and cleaning kits have been distributed; up to 41,390 kg of material have been collected through seven solidarity activities; and the collaboration of 21 private companies has been achieved.
Nine years after its birth and after a process of internal reflection with local organisations, service users and social professionals, the project has been renewed and reinvented to take a step forward with the development of La Botiga, a comprehensive project aimed at guaranteeing the right to food that will be launched in October 2021.
Level of implementation
It is a hybrid model that combines food security with other social, employment and relational needs of people, working on the basis of the principles of cooperative governance. It is a leading experience in Catalonia and in Spain as a whole. As such, it is being analysed by an interdisciplinary team led by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, with the participation of students from the European University ECIU University, which is also studying how the project can meet other future needs. La Tienda currently serves 500 families in Prat de Llobregat.